Letter: What’s your ‘why,’ Clifford?


What’s your why??  We all have that question to answer. What is it that drives us to do the things we do? Why do we go to work? Why do we choose the professions we do? Why do we love and hurt the ones closest to us? Why do we make the choices we make? We all have a why….

To North Smithfield voters and residents: why does Mike Clifford choose to do the things he does? Why does he have a page entitled “Cliff Notes?” Why does he state he is too old to get involved, has served his time, and paid his dues, yet choses to do relentless hours of research on issues? Why does he claim that he likes to do it for free? Why does he blame everything on John Beauregard? Why does he seem obsessed with him? Why was he caught taking down John’s signs last election? Why was he reported following school busses? Why are there reports of Clifford driving past John’s house repeatedly? Why isn’t he asking other councilors questions during public comment? Why isn’t he calling out other council members on his page? Why is he always leaving us with “Cliffhangers” and saying, “tune in for the next episode” – which means the next insinuation? Why did he enter the race for Town Council and then drop out? Why isn’t he calling out other potential candidates, who have a known track record of failures, in the same manner he is calling out John constantly? It seems someone has a lot of time and energy, yet the choice in how to channel and direct it seems misguided. Why?

John Beauregard, Paul Zwolenski and all of our other elected officials in North Smithfield are not perfect human beings. Elected officials or not, we are all imperfect humans. Some of us recognize our flaws and strive to improve. And then again, some of us don’t to do the hard work of self-reflection and strive to be better human beings.

Mike Clifford expects perfection. He is always salivating to point out a mistake that has been made. (He is) the “Ah-hah – Gotcha” guy. Yes, some of his work has been beneficial to the town, but to what extent? The amount of divisiveness he has caused is atrocious. Facebook should not allow him to have his page. It’s turned into a mockery (and a) witch-hunt. He has made a circus of public comment and town meetings. The question is: why?

Unraveling the “why” in Mike Clifford to the core may be scary. If we understand his past, his failures, and his shortcomings, only then may we be able to paint a better picture as to why Mike Clifford does the things he does. Only he really knows why deep down. Voters on all sides should refrain from whatever is driving Mike Clifford.

Let’s not let Cliff Notes drive this great town, “off the cliff.” There is a lot of good in this town and a lot to be thankful for. Is it perfect? No. Let’s remember those who aren’t perfect but show up to do the work for the benefit of us all.  

Joey Sevigny

North Smithfield

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  1. What a load of BS. I don’t know who the author is, but it is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. What a fool this person is.

  2. Seriously Mr. Clifford? You start all the negativity, lies and name calling, get all your followers worked up and now you want to play the victim? You sat on a few boards? So did many of the people you tried to ruin over the years. Why don’t you tell everyone how you wreaked havoc while you were on those boards? How you wanted your own office at Town Hall when you were on the School Committee and all you did was sign a few checks. Or how you wanted to cut sports along with Paulette Hamilton. I was around back then, I remember. You are no victim. I still believe this thing with John Beauregard is about jealousy. He sits up there, the former state trooper running the meetings getting all the attention. How bad do you want that to be you? You tried enough times but could not get elected. That’s what this is all about.
    John’s wife showed the whole town the kind of person you really are with her LTE and this LTE puts the icing on the cake. You didn’t even answer her questions. Why didn’t you report this land issue two years ago? We now know you knew about this back then, you tried to give it to the press. Why did you act like it was something hot off the press and make a dramatic scene at the council meeting? You thought you did such a great acting job you actually posted a video of yourself. And if it is such a great story why did the all press tell you to go pound sand? Are you really filing a complaint with “the authorities”?
    Answer Janice, what authorities and why did you wait? Did you withhold evidence of a crime? I urge everyone not to let a person like Mike Clifford control our town council, which is what will happen if Mrs. Hamilton and Mrs. Marandola win with Kim Alves there. We need a strong leader like John Beauregard sitting on that board who will not be a Mike Clifford puppet.

    • “How you wanted your own office at Town Hall when you were on the School Committee and all you did was sign a few checks. Or how you wanted to cut sports along with Paulette Hamilton.”

      Well ,well, well, there it is. A classic pay no attention to the man (or woman) behind the curtain angle.
      Cut sports? Could that be any more un~American?! Whats next, attack and cut academic high achievers!? Advanced honors program Valedictorian, Salutatorian programs?! Bah! Those student Athletes and Academics should be lauded and given the tools and resources they need to thrive. I applaud and respect their daily hard work and sacrifice in this unprecedented upside down world. Mr. Richer is right in following the Town Charter ordinances and regulations on the books, while doing so without violating a citizens due process rights.

    • I’ve known Mr Clifford on a personal level for close to 30 years. I was his next door neighbor for 10+ years and I can say without a doubt, he was the best neighbor I have ever had. Responsible, helpful and most generous. I had a small lot and Mr Clifford allowed me to garden on a nice sized piece of land he owned that was sitting fallow. He did so at no cost to me and this not only gave me room to grow food for my family, it gave my children more room to play. Mike Clifford has never looked for attention, he has done what he does for the betterment of the community. More so than the many complaining, combined. He is selfless, helpful and always there when called upon for advice or information. It is obvious Carol, you do not know the man. His objectives are for the benefit of the community and he is a gentleman while doing it. Others could learn a lot from him, especially in regards to integrity and grace. We’d live in a more kind world with others more like him.

    • You’re false stories get better and better Carol Robinson. I particularly like the one about how I wanted an office for myself at Town Hall. Actually, I asked if the empty office could be used by the interns from Bryant College whose assistance the Budget Committee had requested. The interns assisted the Budget Committee and also worked under the direction of the Fiancé Director as a clerk. They were required by Bryant to put a certain number of hours a week at the job. One of them even received an award form Bryant for having been so successful in her internship that year. They were very helpful.

      Regarding my signing checks while I was on the School Committee it’s true. After being selected by the School Committee to be the responsible party to co-sign all checks written by the School Department on a regular basis, I did. Every year one school committee member had that responsibility and since I was retired, I had the time to go in as needed, review each invoice and co-sign the checks. That’s how I discovered the bus company was overcharging the school department.

      I did not cut sports or ever even suggest that. The school department was holding parents and students as hostage by threatening to cut sports mid year because they claimed they were going to run a deficit. They were given the additional funding but ended the year with a big fat surplus just as I had predicted.

      As for John’s little land deal, it’s far from being over. You’ll be learning new details soon.

  3. Mr Sevigny should read the comments here and realize they reflect a portent of things to come.
    The citizens of this town have had enough of the backroom discussions/deals, refusal to answer questions, the refusal to allow people to speak freely during good and welfare and the flat out refusal to enforce Town ordinances as they weigh the good and welfare of the citizens against the possibility of being sued. The citizens should be first and foremost the greatest concern.
    This town is being run in a tyrannical manner and it must stop. The Town Charter, the zoning regulations and the ordinances are all in place for the “public health, safety, and general welfare”.
    The fact our Town Administrator has been accused/sued for sexual misconduct toward a subordinate, that an HR Rep was present for, did nothing and the Town Council has not placed him on leave, is beyond unacceptable. Any employee treated as such should not have to work in the same building as her perpetrator. It disgusts me that the TC has known about this for some time and this hostile work environment continues.
    In the private sector, this would not happen. We need to vote these people out, once and for all.

  4. The Constitution established the United States as a democratic republic. It is democratic because
    the people govern themselves, and it is a republic because the government’s power is derived from
    its people. This means that our government – federal, state, and local – is elected by the citizens. Simply, our elected leaders serve at our pleasure. It is their duty to answer all of our questions completely and in a timely manner, regardless of who is asking. It is also our duty to hold them accountable for all of their actions while governing our community.
    That being said, we should all applaud anyone who has the guts to hold our government accountable. Every day we read about an elected official somewhere who has used their authority for personal gain. I’m happy to see that Mr. Clifford is holding our elected officials responsible for their actions. As far as this hit piece written by Joey Sevigny, I agree with Mr. Richer it should never have been published.

  5. I definitely don’t want to condone any of the mudslinging flying around but to pretend it’s only a one sided fight is sort of silly. One side is good and the other side is bad? Nope. I’ve sat here in the middle.

    Residents have a right to speak their mind and ask questions. Do I agree with the way this one resident is going about doing it? No. Would it be the way I would do it? Nope. But we all have a right to raise questions and get answers. He’s not the first person I’ve heard say “I ask questions and I never hear back”. He might just be the loudest. Again, not condoning or saying any one is right. Lastly, stating Facebook should take his page away is a slap in the face of all the people screaming freedom of speech. You can’t have it both ways just because you don’t like what is being said. Now; if it goes beyond complaints, that’s why we have a system in place and I’m sure lawyers can handle that. Instead we’re clogging up town papers with the same old same old. Let’s put a spotlight on the issues we have as a community and stop focusing on a small few people.

    I’d also like to remind some here, when he made posts regarding the survey the school committee put out and parents were angry a ton of you rallied to his page. Shared his posts and praised Mike. As someone who tries to stay neutral its extremely noticeable that it seems some are happy to choose when they want his support and then call him crazy when it doesn’t fit the agenda.

  6. We should all strive to be as involved and helpful to the community as Mr Clifford is. Personally, I’d rather have him keeping watch over the actions of our elected officials than having him being one. We are all better off with him guarding the henhouse than having his voice squelched by 4 others on the Counsel.
    GO get’em Mike!

  7. Well if this isn’t a politically motivated letter…

    Mike Clifford is an excellent example of a town constituent that does his due diligence to understand, question and encourage other town constituents to not take the word of town officials / “authority” at face value. Yes, he expects perfection. Why? Because the people that WE trusted enough to vote into these roles are tasked with the responsibility of taking care of US. Putting OUR best interests first, not THEIR’S. The number of issues overlooked or ignored by some (not all) our town officials is dangerous, irresponsible and completely disheartening and disconcerting. The abuse of authority, i.e. Zwolenski’s latest offenses towards his former assistant, is absolutely unacceptable. If our Town Administrator impedes on the rights of colleagues, how are we to trust that he isn’t impeding on the rights of town constituents? If, according to claims, Beauregard is taking advantage of his authority for his own financial and political gains, is that putting the people first? Are these things acceptable? And if someone can answer yes that that, than you’re part of the problem.

    As a town constituent, I actually expect perfection or at minimum pretty close to it. I expect honesty. I expect that people who we have trusted enough to vote into these official roles are putting OUR needs first, not their own. I expect that our officials are leading and making decisions with integrity. I expect that they are competent and comprehensive. To date, I’ve been disappointed by false promises, self-motivated agendas and abuses of authority. And Mike Clifford does an excellent job of bringing these infractions to light and educating town constituents. So thank you, Mike, for your time and bravery. For fighting the fight when faced with adversity. Thank you for being our voice.

  8. Can we just fast forward to November 8th already? The local back and forth coverage of this election makes it seem like there’s 10 people in this town who vote, when there’s 10,000 registered voters. There are 5 spots on the Town Council up for election, I’d love to see more coverage on other candidates!

  9. This isn’t news or an opinion, it is a hit piece. Very disappointed.
    The above is a rant that belongs on Facebook. It does not reflect well upon this site that such drivel is allowed to be published here.

  10. Since I began posting about John Beauregard’s record as Council President, his group of “pit bulls” have been commenting on my FB page. They don’t ask any relevant questions, they chose instead to ask endless questions just to deflect attention away from the claims I have made. Mr. Beauregard encourages them to come on my page for that specific purpose. They have accused me of never having made any contributions to this town during my “pathetic” life (Their term, not mine). I served on the school committee for a total of 6 years, as Chairman of the Budget Committee for 3 and served on two Charter Review Committees. So for anyone who questions my credibility, or my contributions to this town, I’m going to point out a few other things to set the record straight.

    The short version is, in past years I’ve been right about fake deficits the School Department fabricated; found an error in the schools department audit report made by their own auditor which basically showed they had been hiding a surplus for that year; proven to be correct about my claim that the bus company was overcharging the school district for route time; and proven to be correct when I asserted the bus company had not made three $5000 payments owed to the school department for three prior years. My most recent claim regarding solar land being under taxed was proven to be on the money, and acknowledged by the Tax Assessor publicly. I’ve got a good track record about being correct when I raise an issue and even my enemies acknowledge that I do my homework. I’m extremely confident that I’ll be proven to be correct when the dust settles on the question of Mr. Beauregard’s record as a Council President.

    For those who like to read, here’s the more detailed and long version: https://bit.ly/3U26WMx

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